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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
This is the main page about the LN.
It is intended to give the visitor a general overview of what the LN is and to provide the necessary links to other, more detailed pages.
<title>The Legal Network</title>
<h1>The Legal Network</h1>
<!-- What -->
<div id="introduction">
The Legal Network<a class="fn" id="ref-1" href="#fn-1">1</a> is a
neutral, non-partisan, group of experts in different fields
involved in Free Software legal issues. Currently the Legal
Network has over 400 participants from different legal systems<a
class="fn" id="ref-2" href="#fn-2">2</a>, academic backgrounds<a
class="fn" id="ref-3" href="#fn-3">3</a> and affiliations<a
class="fn" id="ref-4" href="#fn-4">4</a>.
<!-- Why -->
The aim of the Legal Network is to promote discussion and foster
better knowledge of the legal constructs that back Free Software.
The conversations on the Legal Network are intended to be
dynamic, thought-provoking and up to speed with the most recent
<h2>Building Legal Expertise</h2>
Providing a neutral place of discussion allows the Free Software
community at large to grow and develop in various ways. Through
spirited discussions, the Legal Network can also speculate on
possible complications that may arise with Free Software, before
they emerge in legal practice. Consequently, it develops
solutions and tries to build consensus around them in the Free
Software legal community. Members of the Legal Network also use
it to improve each other’s expertise in those fields in which
they are less well-versed, contributing to the overall
improvement legal expertise on Free Software.
<!-- How -->
The discussions of the Legal Network are held in a private mailing list. Through the <a href="/activities/ln/llw.html">Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop</a>, the Legal Network provides a catalyst for such activities, giving its members a chance to meet in person, present their works and ideas and get immediate feedback.
<!-- Output -->
<h2>A Neutral and Protected Space for Discussion</h2>
<p id="outreach"><a
href="/activities/ln/application.html">Admission to the Legal
Network</a> is restricted, and the discussions held there are
confidential. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the content of
the mailing list is contained away from the larger Free Software
community. The <a
House Rule</a> applies to all discussions on the Legal Network
mailing list and at Legal Network events, which enables members to
use the information received, but not to reveal the identity nor
the affiliation of the speaker or any of the participants involved
in the discussion.</p>
Discussions on the Legal Network mailing list and affiliated
events are also subject to a Code of Conduct and <a
href="/activities/ln/rules.html">general rules of moderation</a>.
<h2>The Council of the Legal Network</h2>
The <a href="/activities/ln/council.html">Council of the Legal
Network</a> assists the FSFE with administering the Legal Network
by providing the advice of expert members. It operates with a
collaborative attitude and takes into account input from various
sources, including interested parties, prominent members, and the
The Council is consulted on the prospective evolution of the
Legal Network and operates as an advisory board of sorts for
decisions taken by the FSFE.
<h2>Special Interest Groups</h2>
When a topic that requires more in-depth analysis arises, the
Legal Network can sometimes set up a Special Interest Group
(SIG). SIGs are subject to the same Code of Conduct as the Legal
Network, but participants can invite experts from outside the
Network if their input is deemed valuable. When the discussion on
the original question has reached maturity, the SIG presents its
output to the wider community.
Any member of the Legal Network can propose the creation of a SIG
on a new topic by contacting the Legal Coordinator, or by
declaring such interest directly on the Legal Network mailing
<h2>How to Join the Legal Network</h2>
Given the high level of confidentiality of some discussions,
admission to (and continued membership in) the Legal Network is
subject to the approval of the FSFE and depends on the respect of
the Legal Network regulations.
Successful applicants will have expertise in legal matters
pertaining to Free Software, and will join the Legal Network in
order to share their knowledge with their peers from around the
world. While some members are indeed affiliated with prominent
companies or organisations, this does not constitute a factor in
assessing membership, which is awarded on a personal basis.
The Legal Network thrives in the diversity of its members. As
such, there is a particular interest in welcoming new experts
from the geographical areas that are currently under-represented
(i.e. Eastern European countries, the Baltic states, Asia, South
America and Africa).
All applicants should have a current Legal Network member sponsor
their application. If you intend to join or to propose someone as
a Legal Network member, use our application form <a
href="/activities/ln/application.html">application form</a>.
<h2 id="fn">Footnotes</h2>
<li id="fn-1">Previously known as "European Legal Network".<a href="#ref-1" class="ref">&#8617;</a></li>
<li id="fn-2">The Legal Network currently has members from 28 countries spread over 4 continents.<a href="#ref-2" class="ref">&#8617;</a></li>
<li id="fn-3">The Legal Network is composed by highly competent legal professionals, engineers and other professional figures that contribute with their own specific knowledge.<a href="#ref-3" class="ref">&#8617;</a></li>
<li id="fn-4">The Legal Network members are private practitioners, volunteers, relevant members of the Free Software community, employees of enterprises of different sizes.<a href="#ref-4" class="ref">&#8617;</a></li>
<description>Information about the largest structure for legal discussion on Free Software in the world.</description>